Getting the most medical care for your money
John Hunt, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Thirty-to-Fifty percent of medical procedures and tests are wasteful. As members of a Christian healthcare sharing ministry, each of us is obliged to think conscientiously about the choices we make regarding medical expenses. Certainly, if I ask my community to share in my medical expense, I ought to work very hard to make sure that the expense is reasonable.
The truth is, it’s very hard to be a wise shopper when doctors and hospitals cannot tell you in advance what something will cost and when prices are over inflated and unpredictable. Unfortunately, this is exactly the untenable situation governmental obsession with health insurance has put us in. You and I have found another way, without health insurance, but we still have to deal with the system’s problems. So in an effort to address these problems, Liberty Healthshare is now offering a program to help us all be better consumers of health care services. It will be available for many medical tests and procedures, and for many of the more expensive and perhaps unnecessary services offered by hospitals and the doctors they employ.
Our Member Stewardship Advisory Program involves expanding what we have until now called the “pre-notification process.” Pre-notification has always been required when a doctor recommends certain procedures or tests that are known to have a large range of potential prices, or may not be valuable to our member’s health. We are changing the pre-notification process, focusing on helping you get medical and financial information about your impending tests or procedures. This program, managed by our close partner BowTie Medical, can provide information that your doctor may not have had time to tell you. BowTie Medical’s team of trained professionals can also advise about where you can have a test or procedure performed for much cheaper than you initially thought, often at a facility that is more convenient, boasts better parking, and has shorter wait times.
As of October 1, we are now directing many pre-notification calls to BowTie Medical for these advisory services. MRI’s, endoscopies, orthopedic surgical procedures, and many other medical interventions can be obtained much cheaper and often at higher quality, with just a bit of shopping around.
Remember, Liberty Healthshare is not a company that is making a profit by saving on medical expenses. Rather, we are a community of individuals and families who willingly share each other’s medical expenses. We all benefit from each individual’s effort to steward our resources. Out of respect for each other, we should be as smart as we can be about shopping for the most cost-effective solutions to our healthcare needs, so please take advantage of the skills BowTie Medical offers us to help steward the resources of the Liberty Healthshare community.
The Member Stewardship Advisory Program phone line is 888-604-4337. We will be altering the list of what is required to undergo pre-notification in the near future and over time, but the current list can be found in your Sharing Guidelines. Keep in mind that BowTie Medical advisory is available for many procedures or diagnostic tests beyond the pre-notification requirements, and remember, when you think something seems just too expensive, it likely is. We’re here to help.